The world is becoming more global every day with a growing number of businesses looking to break into new markets. All companies should be aware of the importance of localisation in establishing a global presence, but what exactly is it?
Put simply, localisation is about sending the right message about a product or service to your chosen market. This involves going one step further than translation itself and adapting your translated content so that it is 100% relevant to a specific country, audience or culture. But why is it so important to include localisation in your international marketing strategy?
1) Maximise revenue
According to research from Common Sense Advisory, 75% of global consumers prefer to buy online in their native language.
2) Expand your customer base
In the right language, your brand’s message can reach far beyond your existing customer base, helping you to ‘go global’ with your business whilst maintaining a local touch.
3) Stay ahead of the competition
Localised content will allow you to communicate with clients on a deeper level, demonstrating unique cultural insight and understanding that will ultimately win you trust.
And last, but certainly not the least important…
4) Localisation prevents embarrassment
Localisation takes into account the differences between cultures, languages, specific markets, religions, politics and laws. If a translation is not localised, this could have embarrassing consequences for your brand. A well-known example is Coca-Cola’s early attempt to expand into the Chinese market. Using transliteration to render their brand name into Chinese, “Coca-Cola” was first rendered using characters pronounced as 'Ke-ke-ken-la'. Unfortunately, the characters they used translated as “bite the wax tadpole” or, depending on the dialect, “female horse stuffed with wax”. This was of course a costly and awkward mistake for a global brand.
Given the risks involved, it is highly advisable for a business looking to expand globally to invest wisely in localisation, taking local sensitivities and customs into account.